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Author Topic: How many dialects are there in Austria? Which does Arnold Schwarzenegger speak?  (Read 731 times)

Offline Cosmos

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I know that most Austrian dialects are based on German but with some influenced by Slovenian.

I've seen an interview, in  German, where Arnold Schwarzenegger was questioned in standard German and replied in his dialect. I've no idea which one it is though.
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Offline P-Kasso2

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I know that most Austrian dialects are based on German but with some influenced by Slovenian.

I've seen an interview, in  German, where Arnold Schwarzenegger was questioned in standard German and replied in his dialect. I've no idea which one it is though.

Mrs P-K (who has a PhD in hunky celebrities and their backgrounds) tells me that Arnold Schwarzenegger grew up in Styria region of Austria. And that the Styrian dialect is very different from the German or Tyrolean dialect.

Of course, I already knew all that!  Just like I also knew that Austria has almost as many dialects as it has inhabitants.

This hotpotch of Austrian dialects is mainly headed up by two main dialects or languages...German being the biggest (German is, after all, the official language in Austria) ...and then there's the Viennese dialect, that's the other big one..

Austrian German is a very weird mongrel language - and the differences between Austrian and German are essentially confined to a whole mass of individual words. The basic grammar and language construction though are so similar that if you can speak one you can usually understand the other without too much brain damage.

The Viennese dialect is a different kettle of kippers. It is also called Viennese German and, as with most big city dialects, even the people in neighbouring areas such as next door in Lower Austria have trouble understanding it.

What is it that makes Viennese Austrian so alien even to people in Lower Austria? It is that most of these differences lie in Viennese German's strangulated pronunciation .  This makes it hard enough to understand but there is worse to come...Viennese Austrian also boasts plenty of unique phrases and unique words just to liven things up a bit for the long-suffering neighbours.

Adding to all this fun is the fact that there are many mini-dialects only found in other cut-off regions of Austria - from down in secluded valleys to up in mountains where the cow bells ring.

Perhaps the most un-Austrian dialect of all is said to be the language spoken by the good people of Vorarlberg and environs.  That is apparently more similar to Swiss German.

Then (just when you thought you'd started to understand everything) up pops the Tyrol - where jolly Tyrolean farmers speak a form of Austrian similar only to a garbled kind of broad Somerset accent.

By now you've probably guessed that I don't know exactly how many dialects Austria has - but I can assure you Cos, the answer is 'a lot'.

And, Mrs P-K is decidedly definite that Arnold Schwarzenegger sprecher Styrian dialect.


PS COS  If you really want to delve deeper in to the Central Styrian dialect (srednještajersko narečje, osrednja štajerščina) then Wiki has a short page on it at...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Styrian_dialect
« Last Edit: 27 November, 2017, 02:32:17 PM by P-Kasso2 »
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